This is a sample tour you can add to or change. Please contact us for a quote on a tailor-made tour.
Cross Curriculum Excursions
© David Baron
Alhambra Palace, Granada
Standing at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, the Alhambra Palace, an architectural masterpiece, was built by Moorish princes in the 14th century. It gets its name from the reddish hue of the stones that were used in construction; the word Alhambra derives from an Arabic word meaning Red Castle. Despite looking like a fortress of pure strength from the outside, inside, the Palace's beauty reflects a much more delicate and intricate line of taste. It was originally designed to be a military fortress, but it became the royal residence of the court of Granada in the mid-thirteenth century. Throughout the following centuries, the palace flourished and it became a citadel of high ramparts and defensive towers, with two main areas. Firstly, there was the military quarter, called the Alcazaba, and secondly, there was the royal court. The site is now a UNESCO world heritage site and is considered to be one of the most romantic European destinations.
If you are staying in Granada over night, then don't miss out on the popular Flamenco Dancing show which takes place at 10pm every night in the caves of Sacromonte in the Gipsy district. The roots of this dance date back to the time of Moorish wedding dances and from the caves you will have a spectacular view of the Alhambra and Generalife lit up at night.
Alcazar Palace, Seville
Built by King Pedro in the 1360s, the Alcazar Palace in Seville offers some of the best surviving examples of Mudejar architecture, although Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements can be seen too. Mudejar architecture is a mixture of Muslim and Christian styles, resulting in a unique design that can only be found in Spain and Portugal.
Seville Cathedral and The Giralda
Seville Cathedral is another one of Spain's UNESCO world heritage sites. It was built on the site of a mosque, after the Reconquista, to demonstrate the city's power and wealth. It is the third largest cathedral and largest Gothic building in Europe. Completed in 1506, it took just over a century to build, which given its size and detail is really quite impressive. Don't forget to see the monumental tomb that was sculpted for Christopher Columbus, to house his remains, which were transported from Cuba to Seville in 1902. The most prominent feature of the church is its massive altar piece, which is the largest and richest (it is covered in gold) in the world. It took the entire lifetime of one craftsman, Fleming Pieter Dancart, to complete and is composed of 45 carved scenes from the life of Christ. Also look out for the Moorish entrance court and the Giralda which are parts of the original mosque on which the cathedral was built.
The Giralda is one of three remaining Almohad minarets in the world and dominates the Seville skyline. The Giralda was so admired by the Moors that they wanted to destroy it before the Christian conquest of the city in 1248, but King Alfonso X warned them that "if they removed a single stone, they would all be put to the sword." You may enter the bell tower from within the cathedral and climb up its series of 35 ramps. Although it is a long climb you will be rewarded by the dazzling view at the top!
Barrio Santa Cruz, Seville
The neighbourhood of Santa Cruz is a favourite for Seville's visitors. With its narrow, winding streets, whitewashed houses and tapas bars, it is a picturesque place to relax. It was formerly the Jewish quarter and some of the churches that you will see were originally synagogues. Take a walk down to the covered passageway, Juderia, onto the Patio de Banderas, to get a really good view of Seville Cathedral. Along the way, look out for some wonderful artisan shops selling some real Andalucian goods.
Cordoba has such a long history that we are still not sure exactly when it began. However, it was in the 2nd century BC that the Romans conquered and claimed Cordoba as part of their Empire, and it was then that it began to blossom as a city. It was used by the Romans as a strategic port for shipping olive oil, wine and wheat back to Rome. Cordoba’s heyday was as the capital of the Moorish kingdom of El-Andulas.
It was during this time that work on the Great Mosque began. The Mosque Cathedral is possibly one of the most significant constructions in the whole of the western Muslim world. To begin with the site served as a religious point of worship for the Visigoths, and when the Muslims came a very simple mosque was built, and was shared by both Muslim and Christian communities. Under the ruler, Abderraman I, the Muslim population increased and the simple Basilica was demolished to make way for the more impressive Alhama Mosque.
The Alcazar of Cordoba is also well worth a visit. In its time it has served as a fortress, palace, headquarters for the Spanish Inquisition and prison. It demonstrates perfectly the development of Cordoban architecture through the ages. Roman and Visigoth ruins lie side by side with Arabic remains. By 1236, the castle was in serious need of restoration, so Alfonso X began reconstruction, which was completed during the reign of his son, Alfonso XI.
In 1570, King Philip II, decided that he wanted to create a pure, thoroughbred, Spanish horse. For that reason, he commissioned the building of the Royal Stables, to be built on the Castle land. The vaulted ceiling, supported by simple sandstone pillars make these stables possibly the most beautiful in Europe and can be easily visited alongside a trip to the castle.
© Kevin Poh
The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world partly due to its beautiful stretches of sandy beaches along the coastline. Malaga is the capital of the Costa Del Sol and apart from its beaches, it also has the honour of being the birthplace of one of Europe's most famous artists, Pablo Picasso. His home is located in the Plaza de la Merced, in the historic centre, and is now a Picasso museum as well as the Picasso Foundation headquarters.
Malaga's castle, La Alcazaba, is a former 11th century Arab fortress, built to protect the Port. The Citadel has more than 100 towers, three palaces and several gardens. It is an excellent spot to appreciate the fantastic views over Malaga's port and Old Town.
Andalucia school tour - 5 days
Day 2 - Full day to Granada
- Alhambra Palace
- Cathedral quarter and Chapel Royal
- Day at leisure in resort
Day 4 - Full day to Seville
- Alcazar Palace
- Barrio Santa Cruz